Verdehr Trio

An acknowledged leader in the field of new music, the Verdehr Trio has molded and defined the personality of the violin-clarinet-piano trio, creating a large repertoire by commissioning over 200 new works.
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The Making of a Medium Music Series

The first movement, marked Presto, is a rondo using two contrasting themes, one with rhythmic vitality and one sustained and lyrical. These themes grow and change as the movement progresses and are woven together in a mosaic-like texture. The second movement, marked Adagio is in traditional three-part song form with a long singing line supported by moving accompaniment figures. All three instruments share equally in projectig the melody and accompaniment. The third movement, marked Allegro is unique in that it uses brief quotations from traditional American fiddle tunes as basis for thematic material. Michigan State University Press
Medieval Suite uses material from a variety of thirteenth through fifteenth-century sources. The second movement is a fantasy for clarinet solo based on a Gregorian Chant melody from the Liber Usualis.

Trio in Bb Major, K358 is a transcription on one of four piano sonatas that Mozart composed for four hands. The objective of this transcription was to capture, as accurately as possible, Mozart’s intent had he scored this sonata of the trio. Michigan State University Press

Pathways is nominally in three movements, to be played without pause almost forming one large movement with three large sections. The first (in a flexible sonata form) and third operate within a pervasive romanticism. The second explores other directions atop continuous alternation between 4/8 and 5/8 measures. Michigan State University Press
The first movement, marked Allegretto, is in sonata-allegro form with extended recapitulations of the two major thematic ideas but varied both in music treatment and instrumentation. The second movement is a scherzo with a trio section interpolated throughout the movement. The third movement marked Adagio assai, is a large-canvassed, expressive slow movement in which a rhythmic motive heard in the first two movements is fully emphasized and used in building towards the climax of the movement. Michigan State University Press
Every measure of Collage – 1912 is based on one or more snippets taken from one composition each by Béla Bartók, Irving Berlin, Claude Debussy, W.C. Handy, Charles Ives, Gustav Mahler, Maurice Ravel, Arnold Schoenberg, James Scott, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, and Joaquín Turina. The work is about 12 minutes long and consists of two parts that are performed without pause. Michigan State University Press
Inventions on the Summer Solstice was written for the Verdehr Trio in 1979. It is an evocative work, enhanced by such effects as the spatial modulation of the violin and the second invention, and the addition of claves, maracas, wire brushes used inside the piano, and a toy cricket to augment ensemble’s timbral resources. Michigan State University Press
Commissioned to have an nineteenth-century flavor, Hoag chose for this work to reach back to the uniquely American perspective of the rag. Michigan State University Press
Written as a tribute to the Verdehr Trio, the first movement begins as a lyrical dialogue for violin and clarinet, which with the harp-like entrance of the piano transforms into a virtuosic dance. The second movement and third movements use themes Chihara’s musical SHOGUN. Michigan State University Press
Tripartita is a title invented for this score, a piece in three movements for three players. The first movement Elaborations is a sonata-like structure whose ideas evolve out of the harmonic heard as the background material for the opening passage. The second and third movements are based on similar scalar and harmonic materials as the first with moods and expression. The form of the second movement, Dances, is related to the nineteenth century scherzo with two trios. The third movement, Blues with Variations follows without pause from the second. Michigan State University Press


Verdehr Trio DVD

Hosted by Peter Schickele. Includes – Gian Carlo Menotti: Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano | Joan Tower: Rain Waves | Libby Larson: Slang.
Includes performances by the Verdehr Trio and composer interviews. Robert Mann: Katchi-Katchi | David Diamond: Trio
Includes performances by the Verdehr Trio and composer interviews. James Niblock: Medieval Suite, Double Concerto No.2 | Peter Schickele: Serenade for Three
Includes performances by the Verdehr Trio and composer interview. Peter Sculthope: Dreamtracks
Includes performances by the Verdehr Trio and composer interviews. Betsy Jolas: Sopra et Sola Facta (1998) | Philippe Manoury: Michigan Trio (1993)


Verdehr Trio Recordings

Walter Verdehr violin
Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr clarinet
Silvia Roederer piano

Darius Mihaud: Suite
Philipe Manoury: Michigan Trio (1993)
Camille Saint-Saëns: Tarantella Op.6
Mathieu-Frédéric Blasius: Trio Dialogues Op.31 No.1
Betsy Jolas: Trio sopra et sola Facta (1998)
Francis Poulenc: Suite from “L’invitation au Château”


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